July 27 2015

Check Your Caulking

The Importance of Checking Window Caulking

Caulking and Drafts

If you want to maintain the comfort of your home, then it’s up to you to check your caulking on a regular basis. If your window caulking isn’t up to par, water and air can makes its way into your residence. This can lead to major discomfort for you and for the rest of the members of your household. It can also sometimes lead to increases in monthly energy bills.

Summer Heat and Window Caulking

Assess your window caulking frequently to prevent unpleasant chilly drafts in your home. Start by looking at the caulk located on your exterior window frame. This is important because the heat of the summer months sometimes causes outside caulk to become overly dry. This, in turn, brings on the conspicuous cracks that enable water and H20 to become unwelcome visitors on your property.

Caulking and Pest Management

Caulking is also an important matter for pest control purposes. If you want to make sure that your property is 100 percent free of creepy crawlies, then you need to check on your caulking frequently. Without proper window caulking, pesky insects can easily gain access to your home, which is probably the last thing you want.

Caulking and Potential Water Damage

Window caulking is vital for maintaining a comfortable residence. Cold drafts are no fun especially in the middle of the wintertime. Heat leaks are no party either. It’s also not exactly great to have H20 leakage inside of your residence. Water coming into your windows can sometimes lead to damage of your possessions. If you want to keep your belongings safe as can be from water damage, then it’s absolutely critical to make sure that your window caulking is always in tiptop shape.

July 07 2015

Summer Commercial Building Emergency Checklist

You seen it many times. It’s summertime, you’re driving down the street, you hear the sirens, you see one or more fire trucks whizzing by and then later that day on the news you hear there was a fire in such-and-such a business…and you wonder what the cause was. If you’ve got a business yourself, you hope that will never happen to you. But… could it?

Each year in the US, here’s some scary statistics that apply especially to summertime but really all during the year:

  • There are 70-80K workplace fires in the US every year
  • Commercial building fires cause 30K fatalities, 18K injuries, $10B in property damage
  • Studies show that 85% of those fires are due, directly or indirectly, to human error

As already stated, the vast majority of these fires are due to human error of some kind but how does it break down beyond that?

  • Code violations
  • Shoddy workmanship on equipment or facilities
  • Misuse of of equipment
  • Lack of maintenance
  • Arson does occur but it’s not a major factor in the statistics

What parts of commercial buildings are more susceptible to fires? The answer is…potentially anywhere but here’s a few of the most common:

  • Boiler rooms, furnace rooms, and water heater cabinets. Note that these are all areas of minimal
  • human traffic.

  • Kitchens (obvious, right?)
  • Laundry rooms
  • Hotel/Motel rooms, Assisted Living facilities
  • Anyplace where large amounts of combustibles are stored (e.g. warehouses)

What’s the best way to prevent fires of this nature?

First, be sure that you don’t create situations where these kinds of fires can happen. Pay attention to such things as:

  • Maintenance schedules
  • Ensuring that your maintenance have appropriate training
  • Ensuring that your personnel know what to do in the event of an emergency
  • Be cognizant of any particular design features of your facility which might present potentialproblems (e.g. areas which, for whatever reason, don’t get much air circulation or areas which it’s hard for sprinkler systems to cover).

Here’s three examples of situations where fires started that could have been prevented by better adherence to a combination of the above factors:

1. Cardboard boxes stored near a heater burst into flame.

2. Some dresses placed too near a spot-light in a showroom window burst into flame.

3. A dryer, unattended, in a restaurant, assisted living center or day care center malfunctions and bursts into flames.

All of these situations could have been prevented by better training, better attention to procedures of using some of the equipment involved, better awareness of where potential ‘flash points’ were in the facility, and better assignment of personnel or company officers to establish and monitor fire safety factors in these areas.

But obviously fires will happen, right? So…what can you do about them?

Statistics show that there are two main lines of defence.

1. Having properly maintained and ‘charged-up’ fire extinguishers available, and people who know how to use them is always your first line of defense. But what about times when nobody is around?

2. Having an adequate automatic building water (or chemical) fire extinguisher system is an absolite must for any commercial building. In fact, in most municipalities in the US, you can’t even get your business approved to open unless the relevant city official inspects and approves your building’s fire extinguisher system.

But don’t scrimp on the design, cost and/or maintenance of your automatic extinguisher system. In case after case after case after case, experience shows that sprinklers save not only lives but also save businesses. You can get free advice on these types of sytems from many difference sources… least of all those vendors who sell them. Take their advice, do what you can using common sense but don’t hesitate to invest in equipment and training when you can.